Queensbury Six years before Elvis expired and only two years after man landed on the moon, a worker at International Paper Co.’s Ticonderoga mill decided to run for Hague Town Highway Superintendent.
In a town that is a Republican stronghold, the young man ran as an Independent, and he beat both a G.O.P and Democratic candidate.
This November 1971 election started the long tenure of public service for Dan Belden, who 20 years later became the Supervisor of the Town of Hague. His service in this post extends through Dec. 31.
Belden and five other outgoing Warren County supervisors were praised Dec. 16 for their service to area citizens. Also recognized were Queensbury supervisors Fred Champagne and Bill VanNess, Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed and Lake George Supervisor Frank McCoy.
Belden, due to his length of service and deep knowledge of public works issues, was in the spotlight at the county meeting, the final session of the year.
After the meeting, Belden reflected on his career. He said he was proud of his 20 years as Hague Superintendent of Highways, upgrading roads and keeping town equipment in top shape.
Following Richard Bolton as Town Supervisor, Belden pursued an approach of accomplishing as much as he could while keeping the budget lean.
To that end, he routinely pursued all the grant money he could, Belden said Dec. 16.
“I brought in $20 million for the town of Hague citizens,” he said.
In that vein, Belden identified his top accomplishment during his tenure as developing a sewer system in Hague with federal and state money.
Also a leading accomplishment, he said, was not only building a new town hall in 1988, but paying it off not long afterwards.
Projects like these were accomplished while keeping taxes low, he said, noting that Hague has not levied a town general tax in five years, a tradition that’s to be continued for 2012.